Gregg Berhalter: “There’s a lot of room to improve as a country, and it’s something where we can all be better examples.” (Photo courtesy of U.S. Soccer)
By Michael Lewis
U.S. men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter called last week’s attack U.S. Capitol Building “a low point for us,” but “added that there’s a lot of room to improve as a country.”
On Wednesday, Jan. 6, several thousand U.S. citizens stormed the historic structure during joint sessions of Congress and the Senate in Washington, D.C. while both houses counted the electoral vote. Five people died during the attacks and several others received injuries.
Berhalter has been known as a person who doesn’t mince his words and he didn’t during a Zoom call with the media Monday afternoon.
“This is a low point for us,” he said. “There’s a lot of room to improve as a country, and it’s something where we can all be better examples. We can all be better citizens. When you’re watching that it doesn’t jive at all with what we know as America to be. It’s not who we are as a country.
“It’s disappointing to see, but all we can do is be good examples and continue our efforts in trying to be changed and trying to make change. So, I think that’s the important message to the team is that our work isn’t done just because the year change. We need to keep going and be and persevere with all of our efforts.”
Berhalter said he hadn’t spoken with his players yet, but he planned to in the coming days.
“I think there is a conversation to be had,” he said. “We haven’t had it yet, but I think with anything our efforts don’t stop when the year ticks over. The efforts need to be consistent, and they need to keep going.”
During a separate session on the call, Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris called what transpired “horrific.”
“I think obviously we all realize how horrific those events were,” he said. “We all understand that there’s a need for change in this country and in a lot of ways,” he said. “I think the big thing for us and what I’ve talked to guys about a little bit is hopefully our goal as a national team is to be a positive representation of what that change can be and how we need to move forward.
“In these hard times, we hope to be as a team, hopefully a positive light because I know that these times are super challenging.”